How to win at Clash Royale

Posted by Alex Rennie on March 22nd, 2016
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So, you’ve got Clash Royale. You find yourself playing it while on the toilet, walking the dog, watching TV, even over the dinner table. But you’re not amazing at it yet, and you just have to win that next battle before you go to sleep.

Fear not! For I have taken the time to play this game intensely (for seven whole days) and will share my wisdom. Wisdom that has been gained by various means: Losing a lot of games in a row (and throwing my phone across the room many times), reading other Clash Royale guides, refreshing the Reddit page every 10 minutes, and experimenting with my deck and tactics.

In the interest of fairness, I will disclose that I spent £7.99 on a pack of gems after the first hour of play. Don’t all get angry though - I have a paying job and can afford such luxuries. Plus I wanted to thrash all the weaker players who basically can’t afford such largesse.

It worked - I rapidly moved onto Arena 3, taking many a three crown win with me. However, the fun stopped there. I came across players who actually had tactics, good cards, and more importantly, trolled me excellently when they were winning. The number of ‘crying face emojis’ I had sent to me as a Giant is about to smash my King Tower… well you can probably understand my frustration.

So I researched for my own selfish reasons - I want to be the best in my clan. But, because I’m a nice guy, I’m sharing my findings with you.

I’ll preface - I’m at Arena 5, so don’t be thinking you can rock in here as an Arena 7 player and think this stuff is useful - it’s almost certainly terrible advice for very good players and you can take it with a pinch of salt. For the 99%, it’s invaluable and you will be praising the ground I walk on after reading these delightful tips.

Start slow

Don’t rush into battle. It’s really important to see what your opponent is going to do before you start making a big push, and the best way to do this is by waiting. When I start, I usually don’t play a card until I see my opponent play one, even if that means my elixir bar is full (if your bar is full, so is theirs!). If you’re too impatient to wait once the bar fills, hit out a low elixir card behind your crown tower to tempt them to play something – your troops will take some time to cross the arena anyway.

The key thing is to make sure that your towers have minimal damage and you have good cards to play offensively, and a full elixir bar, when you’re a minute or so into battle. Only a fool would be unable to get an advantage from this situation. If your deck is solid, and you’ve not made a big push early, then there’s no reason for your towers to have taken any big hits due to your defensive work.

Opener battle tips

The first 30 seconds of most battles dictates the winner, in my experience. I talk about taking it easy above, and while I know it’s hard - restraint is the key to winning more than losing.

No one has a 100% foolproof strategy, and that’s the beauty of the game (it would be quite boring otherwise) but there are some tips that can help you gain an advantage over the average player.

Usually I’ll start with a low value card (such as archers, spear goblins, etc) behind my crown tower once my bar has filled to 10. This normally encourages your opponent to play a card as well, and because you’ve only played a low value card, your bar will soon be at 10 again and you should easily be able to counter anything they send over. Saying all this, I’ve been beaten by rushes as well, so nothing is set in stone.

Defence is the best attack

I always start my battles very slowly. Ultimately you’re not going to win every battle, no matter how well you play - it really depends on your deck mix against your opponent. Clash Royale is very well balanced, and so there’s always a deck out there that can beat yours (assuming you’re at similar levels).

At the start, I generally play a low value card to the back of my towers and see if I can tempt my opponent to start attacking me. If so, then I get to see what cards they have and also if I play the right cards, I can get an elixir headstart on them. Once I’ve survived their first wave, it’s time to use my attacking cards. My favourite deck has five defensive cards and only three attacking cards for this reason.

Don’t go for three crown win

Ah, for the early days of Arena 1-3. Three crown wins were all I would accept - any less and it would be a defeat in my eyes. Then comes Arena 4, and you actually start to play against people who can defend and seem to have more of an idea about the game. So, when in Rome, play like the Romans.

The vast majority of my wins are by one tower, and usually 1-0 (Leicester City this season, anyone?) This is through a combination of solid defence, and then one big push against one tower. If I take it down, I drop back to defend whichever of my towers are the weakest, and unless I make a terrible mistake (happens very often) then I can usually last out for a 1-0 win until the end of the game.

These wins all count - you don’t get any more trophies for a 3 crown win, so sit back and relax (and frantically defend!)

Learn what cards to counter with

This is really crucial. I absolutely love it when some noob drops a Skeleton Army on my Valkryie. One second later, she’s marching towards their towers with a determined glint in her eye and 20 dead skeletons around her.

You can learn the cards by trial and error, which is essentially what I did. I have dropped a lot of Giants only to swear loudly when my opponent drops Barbarians, or Skeleton Army, or any of a number of better cards - and then I’m basically fighting to stay alive for the rest of the battle.

However, the unbridled joy I have when someone drops a Prince and I counter instantly – you just can’t get that feeling from anything else in life. Anything.

In terms of the details, that’s not my thing. However, someone did the real work for me. Follow the links below to check out the guides straight after you’ve absorbed my tips. Not before though:

Want more Clash Royale-related stuff? Then check out our review, podcast,or the following guides:

Is Alex right? Or is he completely and utterly wrong and doomed to a life of failure and abject misery? Either way, let us know in the comments below!

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